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Stocks make another big gain...Stabbing suspect fit to stand trial...Colbert moves on

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NEW YORK (AP) — Investors are sending stocks solidly higher for a second day. The Dow has been more than 300 points higher in afternoon trading. Stocks surged yesterday after the Federal Reserve indicated that it is in no rush to raise interest rates in the strengthening economy. And today, Oracle is leading a rally in technology shares after reporting earnings that were better than expected.

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. (AP) — At least two people are still hospitalized in critical condition after a driver hit a group of pedestrians and another car outside a Southern California church as a Christmas service ended last night. Three adults were killed. Several others, including five children, were injured. The suspect is in custody. She's being held on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter.

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge has ruled that one of the two girls accused of stabbing a classmate in order to please a fantasy character known as Slender Man is competent to stand trial. Prosecutors have charged the girls with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the attack in May. According to court documents, the girls plotted for months before attacking their friend in a park. All three girls were 12 at the time. A state psychiatrist found the girl, now 13, fit to stand trial, but her attorney contested that finding.

NEW YORK (AP) — A spokeswoman says New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH'-zee-oh) is committed to reform at the troubled Rikers Island jail complex. The comment came in response to a lawsuit filed by federal prosecutors seeking to speed reforms at Rikers Island. The lawsuit was filed today to address what a Justice Department investigation found was a culture of violence against young inmates. Yesterday, the mayor announced the end of solitary confinement for 16- and 17-year-old inmates.

NEW YORK (AP) — Colbert (kohl-BEHR') Nation will be leaderless after tonight. After nine years, Stephen Colbert (kohl-BEHR') is leaving "The Colbert Report (kohl-BEHR' ree-POHR')." He is retiring the Comedy Central satirical-news show along with the mythical character who served as host — a pompous, conservative scold who shares his name. His next step: playing himself as the new host of CBS' "Late Show" replacing David Letterman, who exits next May.

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